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Turkey air strikes kill PKK fighters in northern Iraq

First air strikes since failed coup kill at least 20 PKK fighters in northern Iraq, Turkish media reports.

Turkey's military has launched air strikes on Wednesday against members of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in northern Iraq, killing 20 fighters, according to Turkey's state-run news agency.

Turkey carries out frequent attacks against PKK targets in the Kurdish regions near the Turkish border, where the PKK leadership has camps.

Some of the worst violence in the three decades of the Kurdish rebellion was triggered after a ceasefire between the autonomy-seeking PKK and Turkey ended last year. 

This recent cross-border attack comes as Turkey's military deals with the aftermath of an attempted coup, carried out by a faction within its armed forces.


READ MORE: Turkey says Kurdish fighters killed in raids


Wednesday's air strikes appear to be an attempt to show that forces are on top of security matters despite the failed takeover. 

Turkish authorities have arrested close to 9,000 people for their alleged involvement in the coup.

Officials say that the death toll from the attempted takeover has risen to 240 government supporters as of Wednesday.

At least 24 coup plotters were also killed.

The Turkish government blames US-based exiled opposition leader Fethullah Gulen's movement and his supporters for planning and carrying out the failed coup, and has demanded the extradition of the cleric. 

Turkey faces multiple security threats, including the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) and the PKK. 


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